Where Eagles Dare (1969)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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An expensive but enormously profitable war picture, Where Eagles Dare centers upon a daring rescue and even more daring escape. Disguised as Nazi officers, commandoes Maj. John Smith (Richard Burton), Lt. Morris Schaffer Clint Eastwood and six other courageous souls parachute behind enemy lines. Their mission: to rescue an American general, held captive in a supposedly impenetrable Alpine castle. Aiding and abetting the commandoes are Allied undercover agents Mary (Mary Ure) and Heidi (Ingrid Pitt). Also on hand is a British officer (Patrick Wymark), who masterminded the mission. Somewhere, somehow, someone amongst the Allies is going to turn out to be a traitor. There's also a neat plot twist in store when the commandoes manage to reach the American general -- which leads to yet another twist. The vertigo-inducing climax has made Where Eagles Dare one of the most sought-after of "early" Eastwood starring features. The film was written directly for the screen by espionage novelist Alistair MacLean. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
PG (adult situations/language, violence)
Action & Adventure , Art House & International , Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
MGM Home Entertainment

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Richard Burton
as Maj. Jonathan Smith, MC
Clint Eastwood
as Lt. Morris Schaffer
Mary Ure
as Mary Elison
Patrick Wymark
as Col. Wyatt Turner, DSO MC
Michael Hordern
as Vice Adm. Rolland
Donald Houston
as Christiansen
Peter Barkworth
as Berkeley
Robert Beatty
as Cartwright Jones
Derren Nesbitt
as Maj. von Hapen
Anton Diffring
as Col. Kramer
Brook Williams
as Sgt. Harrod
Neil McCarthy
as MacPherson
Vincent Ball
as Carpenter
Victor Beaumont
as Col. Weissner
Richard Beale
as Telephone Orderly
Ivor Dean
as German Officer
Lyn Kennington
as German Woman
Nigel Lambert
as Young German Soldier
Michael Rooney
as Radio Operator
Ernst Walder
as Airport Control Officer
Ingrid Pitt
as Heidi
Ferdinand "Ferdy" Mayne
as Rosemeyer, German Officer
Philip Stone
as Sky Tram Operator
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Critic Reviews for Where Eagles Dare

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (4)

Alistair MacLean wrote an original screenplay that was treated with respect for the writer's unusual abilities as a master of actionful suspense. The resulting film is highly entertaining, thrilling and rarely lets down for a moment.

Full Review… | December 26, 2007
Top Critic

It may be devoid of significance of any sort, but it is nevertheless passably entertaining, and certainly better viewing than most MacLean adaptations.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It is so long (almost three hours) that it may finally bore the very action trade for which it was intended; yet it's just at that point of surface boredom that the movie aficionado will probably become entranced.

Full Review… | May 8, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

You have to admire any film that casts Clint Eastwood opposite Richard Burton; the real violence is in the clash of acting styles.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

...it provides full-on thrills, maybe exaggerated thrills, to be sure, but making for an exciting ride, nonetheless.

Full Review… | July 1, 2010
Movie Metropolis

A straight-ahead, old-school action movie for war-espionage junkies. [Blu-ray]

Full Review… | June 6, 2010
Groucho Reviews

Audience Reviews for Where Eagles Dare

They sure knew how to make great WWII films back in the 1960's. So many classics from that era to love and remember. This highly suspenseful action-adventure, starring Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood in excellent form, joins those ranks with ease, as it takes us through a rousing series of taut and explosive events. While we do have to suffer a lot of obvious blue-screens, the outstanding story - along with its actors - makes such minor drawbacks effortless to overlook. There's a lot of plot twists as well, which results in the film being pleasantly unpredictable. We don't get that too much in modern cinema, without it feeling contrived or artificial in some way. Add to that the enchantingly sexy Ingrid Pitt, and you have more than enough reason to watch this great classic. A well-deserved 4 out of 5 stars!

Mike S
Mike S

Super Reviewer


An impossible but no less important mission.. Hyper cool heroes who perform the most daring stunts without as much as breaking a sweat.. Double, triple or even quadruple twists and turns in the plot (Eventually you'll loose count).. Overall, a brainless popcorn movie that does'nt offer anything reputable or realistic. Still its fun to watch Eastwood shooting the crap out of people.

Sajin P A
Sajin P A

Super Reviewer

One of the highlights of the World War II military caper films that were rather popular in the 1960s. It has all it needs: an impossible mission to a unique and interesting location, very bad odds and cool heroes. Here: Richard Burton as sly fox planning ahead and Clint Eastwood as tight-lipped rookie. While the first half concentrates on stealth and deception, the second is action packed, both are very exciting. The story offers more twists than you'd expect from such a film, too. As far as the realism of UK and US soldiers easily sneaking into Nazi facilities go: Tarantino certainly had a look at this before doing "Inglourious basterds".

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

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